New! Join Codes and Invites Make Life Easier

We’ve solved a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to managing class blogs and sites with many users. We think you are going to love it!

As of today, Edublogs Pro users can invite users to join their blogs by simply sending them a join code. This means there is no more creating student or user accounts manually! This should really simplify the “getting started” process when managing large groups of users.

This feature integrates perfectly with our My Class tool, and it allows you to keep total control over who is added to your blog and what permissions they have once they join.

Here’s a small preview:

invitecode

What’s This For?

  • Teachers wanting to add students to a class blog
  • Giving access to parents or guests on private sites
  • Inviting only those you wish to be able to leave comments on posts
  • Quickly adding a colleague as a co-administrator to a site
  • Creating a community blog where you can make it easy to add contributors or authors

How Does It Work?

It’s easy!

Get started by visiting Users > Invite Users in your dashboard.

There is a new step in our signup process for adding in a join code. And existing users will find a join code field in their profile pages too.

If you’d like more detailed information on how it all works, visit our help site here.

There’s More!

giveaway

This is just the beginning of the new features we’ll be adding through out the month of August.

And don’t forget, to celebrate 10 years, we’re giving away $10,000 in services too!

Learn more and enter to win here.

Happy blogging!

New Features! Private Comments and Group Lists

We’re happy to roll out two new tools that we think are huge for student and course blogging.

These features are available now on both free and Pro Edublogs and will be added to all CampusPress networks next week.

Let’s jump into it!

Private Comments and Feedback

Teachers can now leave private comments for students – perfect for detailed feedback.

When reading a post in our ‘Reader’ tool in your dashboard, you’ll see a new check-box in the comments section.

readerprivate

Private comments can only be created and read by those that can edit the post. This means blog admins, teachers, editors, and the author of the post. Private comments will show up in the feed of other comments in the ‘Reader’.

readerpending

Unread private comments will appear under the “Pending” link in the reader too. There will be a notification number alerting you that a private comment needs to be read.

Group and Class Lists

This is ideal for those of you that teach more than one class and are looking for ways to organize all of your students’ blogs. You will be able to see a live feed of all posts from blogs in a list as they are published. Here is how the lists I made look:

readerlists

Making your own lists is easy. Here’s how:

1. Click on the “Create new list” button in the bottom right corner of your dashboard.

readercreate

2. Give your list a name. You can edit this name later.

readercreate2

3. Then add in the sites you want added. You can paste the full URL of the site, like theedublogger.edublogs.org.

4. Click ‘Create‘.

Make as many lists as you want.

Lists can be used for much more than just to organize student blogs. For example, groups, projects, or just keeping track of your favorite edubloggers all in one place!

Other Reader Features

There is a lot that the ‘reader’ tool can do that you may not be aware of. Here are just a few examples:

Easy Moderation

Do you approve student posts and comments? If so, make sure to use the “Pending” link to help you do so in a quick and easy way, without needing to click through to all of your students’ blogs.

Mobile Friendly

Login to your blog’s dashboard on a phone or tablet, right in any web browser, and you’ll be able to use the same features as on your desktop. This means you can keep track of student activity, reply to comments, moderate posts, and more from anywhere.

Search By Author, Title, Category, or Tag

Ask your students to add a common tag to their posts. Much like they would use a twitter hashtag.

Then, use the search in the reader to pull all posts using that tag. This is great for projects between classes, or when global events or activities take place like Poetry Month, sporting events, and more.

It is important to note that only posts from public blogs will show up in search results :)

RSS Feeds

Want to follow your students’ blogs in an RSS feed reader? Or perhaps create a flipboard magazine of posts in a list you have made?

Click the orange ‘RSS’ icon at the top of the reader and a private feed, just for you, will be created for whatever you are looking at. There’s lots of cool stuff that can be done with this, and be on the lookout for a more detailed follow up post!

What’s Next?

As always, we’ll continue to work hard to bring you new tools and features.

Let us know in the comments below if there is anything you’d like to see!

Post By Email, Auto-post to Facebook and Twitter, Better Image Galleries and More!

Woah!

Today’s news is kinda big.

We’ve made available a new plugin, called Jetpack, which when activated brings a ton of new tools and features to your blog.

jetpack

What Can Jetpack Do?

Post by Email

You can create a unique and private email address that can be used to publish a new post on your blog just by sending an email. Read more here.

Auto-post to Facebook, Twiiter, Google+ and More

Connect your blog to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Path, or Tumblr account to automatically share a link to each new post every time you publish. Read more here.

Sharing Buttons

Much like the AddThis plugin already available, Jetpack gives you another means of adding social sharing icons to the bottom of each of your posts.  Read more here.

Better Image Galleries

Visit our news post from yesterday about the new themes. Click on the image gallery at the top of the post (of all of the themes) and you can see how the images open up in a new full screen slideshow experience. There’s also ways of displaying images in fun new layouts.

Learn more here:

  1. Carousel
  2. Tiled Galleries
  3. Slideshows

Widget Visibility

Hide or show widgets on different pages, giving you total control and flexibility to really customize your sidebars. Read more here.

Spelling and Grammar

The additional spelling and grammar tools can be set so that you must run a check before publishing each new post – a great way to cut down on typos and errors!

And More

There are more modules too that you might find useful. Just activate the Jetpack plugin and take a look around.

Important Notes

Jetpack is developed by the team behind WordPress.com and in order to use the plugin, you must create or have a WordPress.com account.

Jetpack on Edublogs is available to Pro blogs and student blogs that Pro teachers have added as part of My Class.

The plugin is also available on our Edublogs Campus networks, though a Super Administrator must enable the plugin first.

How To Use Jetpack

Go to Plugins > Social in your blog’s dashboard and find the Jetpack by WordPress.com plugin. Click Activate.

Then, go to the new Jetpack menu item near the top of your menu and connect your blog to a WordPress.com account.

You can find more detailed instructions on setting it up here.

And as always, please contact us with any questions you may have.

Happy blogging!

 

Edublogs Campus now integrates with Google Apps, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard and more!

With Edublogs Campus, we make it super easy for every student, staff, and faculty member to have their own WordPress blog or website.

And as of today, we’re excited to share, we can now integrate with many popular student management and learning tools, including Google Apps for Education and Learning Management Systems like Desire2Learn, Canvas, Moodle, and Blackboard.

Promo_SSO_LTI

Google Apps for Education

If your school is already using Google Apps for Education, we can enable single sign on to manage user accounts, passwords, and blog creation.

This will mean that students and staff will have one less password to remember and it is even easier to allow users to create accounts and blogs without the need for request forms, CSV uploads, or other time consuming processes.

LTI and Learning Management Systems

For your LMS and other learning tools, we can now harness LTI to handle user account and blog creations.

Future plans include more detailed integration with many popular tools like links to class blogs within a course, auto-provisioning blogs for students in a course, and more.

We’ll work closely with our Edublogs Campus clients to determine these future plans, needs, and timelines!

Getting Started

If you already have a Campus network, or if you’d like to learn more about getting setup, get it touch with us at support@edublogs.org.

For new networks, we can usually have you up and running in as little as a day. We can even migrate existing WordPress networks over to Edublogs as well.

Don’t forget, we’re happy to setup free trials for Campus, so giving us a try is risk free, fast, and easy!

Better videos with the all new MediaCore plugin on Edublogs!

Available today, you’ll find an exciting new plugin for adding videos and audio to your blog – MediaCore!

Blog-post-graphic_03

MediaCore is a cloud-based video education platform that makes it safe and easy to use video in teaching and learning.

With the new plugin, you can easily upload videos directly from your blog’s dashboard and embed videos that are already in your MediaCore account.

Best of all, there’s a free MediaCore educator account for you to get started!

A big thanks!

We want to thank Edublogs Campus user Brian Lockwood at Nanjing International School for introducing us to MediaCore.

We love when we’re able to provide new features and tools for users based directly off of feedback and suggestions we receive!

Using the plugin

Using the plugin is a breeze.

Activate the plugin and enter your MediaCore site’s information.

Then you’ll find a new icon in your post editor that takes care of all the rest.

For detailed instructions, check out our help and support guide here.

Happy video blogging!

Edublogs Update: Manage multiple blogs with a more powerful ‘My Blogs’ page

When Edublogs was first started years ago, most users just had one blog that they kept up with.

Now, with the exciting increase of student blogging, many users are managing hundreds of blogs all from their one account!

The newly revamped ‘My Blogs‘ page, found in the top left under ‘Dashboard‘, now makes it all so much easier.

From this page, you can:

The links above will take you to our user guide pages with loads of more information and detailed directions.

Be sure to visit Dashboard > My Blogs to see more.

Used along with the recently improved Blog & User Creator, the My Blogs page will help you setup and mange as many student blogs as you may need.

Provide some details for your blog
No stress, you can always change this later on.
.edublogs.org

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